Thursday, December 15, 2016

Editorial, "Can Brics Provide An Alternative?", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 October 2016 issue, Vol. 12, Part 2, No. 20


- to the US global hegemony, of course. Even after the end of the Cold War, the US has not moderated but all the more escalated its expansionist and resource-grabbing policies and is strutting like the only superpower gobbling up millions of people as its meat. In this context the coming together of four big countries of the world, Brazil, Russia, China and India into an alliance, joined by South Africa later, to become the BRICS entity, is a welcome development. Certainly the US monopoly of and hegemony on world trade, economics and politics needs to be broken up for the welfare of humanity at large and for the protection and promotion of the sovereignty and independence of the various countries in the world. To quote Abhijit Das, Since 2001, when Goldman Sachs coined the term “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India, China), the acronym has come into widespread use and potentially marks a shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies towards the developing world. …BRIC countries … developing rapidly and by 2050 their combined GDP could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world. These four countries … account for more than a quarter of the world’s land area, 40% of the world’s population, and have a combined GDP (PPP) of US$ 20.39 trillion in 2011. … The BRIC countries have been engaged with one another to enhance cooperation in various economic and financial areas. The bloc has been enlarged as South Africa joined the group during the BRICS Summit held in Sanya, China in April 2011. It is also exhilarating to know that a conference of IT ministers and teams of BRICS countries has taken place last October to discuss the ways and means to de-monopolize the Internet too, now in the clutches of the US government and multinationals, and not infrequently misused, and at any time can even be access-blocked for their ‘enemy countries’ etc. at their whim and fancy. As the Russian IT Minister disclosed, “we really require some kind of diversification of the IT solutions – we need joint efforts by all BRICS nations, because we represent just about half of the population of the planet…. we really want it to be balanced, not to depend on one country or several companies. We really want fair competition … But also we’re concerned … with such issues as the management, the governance of the critical internet infrastructure. It’s also … an issue of monopolization. …today it’s still under a particular government contract between the government of the US and a legal entity ... called ICANN … assigning domain names, internet addresses. But, still, it’s a legal entity under the US law.” The recent BRICS summit held under Indian chair in Goa is a refreshing breeze with all the five participating countries unanimously consenting to exert their abilities to counter international terrorism, though there were objections to the naming of any particular country as the ‘mother-ship of terrorism’, and also concluding several mutually beneficial economic and political pacts. §§§

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